Teaching your kids to deal with strangers is more important than ever before. You should start teaching them as toddlers about how to manage contact with people they don’t know.
1. Teach your children not to talk with strangers unless the trusted adult they are with is present and gives them permission, even if they are talking only on the phone or on the internet. This protects your children from being targeted for abduction.
2. Teach your children to never get into a car with a stranger and to never be within five feet of a car with a stranger sitting in it. If they are passing by a car that is on the street and a stranger starts to talk with them, they should be taught to run away, rather than speaking with strangers, who may lure them over to the car to facilitate abduction
3. Teach your children to lock doors and windows and set security alarms when they are home alone. These are important basics for older children and those who are babysitting. Doors should not be unlocked and alarms should not be disarmed unless they know the person on the other side. Code words can be established to indicate to a child when it is safe to open the door.
4. Teach your children to use the panic button on your home alarm system appropriately. Children should know that the panic button is not a toy and should only be used for emergencies, yet they should not be afraid to use it if they feel threatened by a stranger in their home or if there is a critical situation at hand. Give children concrete examples for use, such as finding a stranger in the house or discovering that they are unable to wake up a parent
5. Teach your children to seek out help from trusted adults if they are approached by strangers or believe that there is another critical emergency in the home or in public.
Children should know how to dial 911 and should know their address, phone number and their parents first and last names by memory.
This will help them give important information to dispatchers. In public, children should be taught to seek out an adult if another adult is perceived as threatening them.
At SensoryEdge our focus is to educate, inform, and inspire each person caring for children to be and do their very best. It is not always easy and sometimes we don't take action (or we take the wrong action) because of a lack of understanding the real issues.
We hope that the conversations that occur here will help in some small way better the lives of children, their families, and the professionals who work with them.
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